HC Deb 16 February 1984 vol 54 c369
7. Mr. Soames

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider building a new magistrates' court at Gatwick airport.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Mellor)

Responsibility for the provision of magistrates' courthouse accommodation rests with the local authority; and my right hon. and learned Friend has had no capital expenditure proposals from West Sussex for such a project.

Mr. Soames

Is my hon. Friend aware of the pressures that are building up on the Crawley magistrates' court because of the weight of cases emanating from Gatwick airport? In view of the rapid expansion of Gatwick, will he consider building a courthouse at Gatwick airport so that these matters may be handled expeditiously?

Mr. Mellor

My hon. Friend should approach the county council in the first instance. Our capital programme is spent up to the year 1986–87 on 27 new courthouse projects at a cost of about £100 million. If my hon. Friend's county council were to pursue an application under the minor works scheme to extend the existing court, that might be the most expeditious way in which to proceed.